Ceramics in medieval and early 16th century wrecks in the northern Gulf of Finland
Avainsanat:maritime archaeology, ships, maritime history, ship wrecks
Beginning from around 1960, there was a fifty year period in Finnish maritime archaeology, when medieval ship finds were being excavated. In this article, I will discuss some of them and will show that they have much to offer to the research of the Middle Ages.1 The ship finds are the Egelskär wreck (ca. 1280–1300), Lapuri (ca. 1300), Esselholm, Metskär and Gråharuna (all dated to ca. 1560–1580s). What combines them, is that they have carried various ceramic dishes. In most cases, the ceramics have clearly been on board as trade goods. However, apart from a few preliminary articles presenting the fieldwork and finds, there has been no discussion of the meaning of the maritime archaeological assemblages or how the ships can be tied to the contemporary historical situation and environment. On the other hand, it is now easier to attempt a more comprehensive view into the past, as historical and archaeological research has progressed significantly since the 20th century.